By Jenny Hewett
Oct 8, 2021
THE WAIT IS OVER. AGENT 007 IS BACK in business. After an 18 month delay due to the pandemic, the latest Bond film, actor Daniel Craig’s fifth and final, has premiered in London, and it’s already getting rave reviews. The 25th film in the James Bond spy franchise, No Time To Die, transports us first to Jamaica, where a retired 007 is going about a normal life. He’s soon recruited back into the spy game, however, to rescue a kidnapped scientist. Bond is, without a doubt, one of the most dapper, well-traveled characters on the silver screen. And so, in homage to the jet-setting legend that is 007, we’ve rounded up the most extravagant Bond-inspired travel experiences in Asia-Pacific and beyond. Ian Fleming would approve.
1. Retreat to your own private-island estate
With its white-sand beaches, whispering palms and palette of piercing blues and greens, the Maldives could be mistaken for the best of Jamaica – and is a helluvalot closer to those of us in the Asia-Pacific region. Arrive at your personal estate in the heavenly Noonu Atoll via seaplane and then saunter into your new digs, wind sexily whipping your hair. The four-bedroom, LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island occupies an intimate one-hectare isle and features a 25-meter swimming pool and overwater yoga pavilions. Whether you’re channeling the man himself or perhaps the coolest of the Bond villains with a secret oceanic private lair, this is definitely a cinematic place to go off the radar.
chevalblanc.com/en/maison/randheli/rooms-and-villas/private-island; price on request.
2. Steal the ship and sail to a secluded beach
007 is a capable guy. As the world’s greatest spy, he has to be. So, any travel experience that allows you to take back control gets the James Bond seal of approval. At Lizard Island Resort in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, the freedom to explore is their greatest luxury. Guests here have their private motorized dinghies at your disposal, which you can captain yourself to secluded nearby beaches or to explore the turquoise waters. BYO snorkel gear and your best Bond girl/boy impersonation.
lizardisland.com.au; doubles from A$1,969.
3. Dive in a submerged city
Make like you’re a member of MI6 in pursuit of a villain as you explore the abandoned apartments of this eerie submerged city. Sixty meters deep and filled with the volume of six Olympic-sized swimming pools, Deep Dive Dubai, is the world’s deepest pool, complete with graffiti, an apartment building, library and an arcade with foosball and chess. As well as offering courses and sessions for both beginners and certified divers, it also welcomes free-diving and snorkeling.
deepdivedubai.com; from AE$1,500 for certified divers.
4. Soar into lunch in style
You’ll probably want to suit up before stepping out onto the heli-pad atop The Peninsula Hong Kong to travel high above the city the way James Bond would. This vertical palace offers a handful of luxe helicopter experiences, including its ‘Fly and Dine’ package, which begins with an 18-minute tour in a VIP chopper for Bond’s-eye views of Victoria Harbour and the beaches and bays of south Hong Kong Island. On return, slip rather smugly into the Chinese-themed Spring Moon restaurant for six-course degustation dinner or set lunch. Black-tie not required.
peninsula.com/en/hong-kong/5-star-luxury-hotel-kowloon; from HK$14,298 for two.
5. Jet Ski among the crocs
If it sounds like the stuff of fiction, that’s because you may remember that in Live and Let Die, Bond hopped-skipped-and-jumped among a row of ravenous crocodiles. Our option is way more fun but no less thrilling: Beyond the lure of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is one of the croc capitals of Australia. And what better way to see them in their natural habitat than on a Jet Ski. Hang on, what? Yep, you heard right. Gather your nerves and head down to NQ Water Sports for the thrill of your life. Framed by mangroves and mountains, this fun tour requires you to speed a Jet Ski up Trinity Inlet to meet the native crocs, including the 4-meter-long baddie they call Jaws (remember him from The Spy Who Loved Me?).
nqwatersports.com.au/jet-ski/croc-spotting-jet-ski-tour; from A$190 per person.
6. Have a fleet of supercars at your disposal
If you’re 007, there’s only one way to road-trip: in a supercar. Aman’s new portfolio of driving journeys offers guests the opportunity to take the wheel of a luxury sportscar, stopping the nights for stays at Aman hotels. Head to the stunning Japanese Alps for a supported five-day trip, with three days of driving the magical landscapes around Aman Kyoto and Amanemu. The hotels also provide guests with personalized iPhones pinpointing off-the-beaten-track coffee shops, galleries and fine-dining lunch stops or picnic spots. These travel experiences are especially fun for groups of likeminded motor-enthusiasts, so strap on your seatbelt and hit the road in tandem – one of you can play James Bond and the other the baddie in hot pursuit.
aman.com/journeys/land/driving-journeys-japan; price on request.
007. Submarine to… Antarctica
Scenic Neptune. Photo by f-Stop Movies/Courtesy of Scenic (2)
Luxury cruiser Scenic Eclipse has become the first ship with a permit to operate a submarine in the South Georgian waters. Its submarine discovery excursions are available to guests on their Antarctica excursions for 2021/22 and provide a rare opportunity to see wildlife deep under the icy surface. Scenic Neptune seats up to just six people and can dive up to 300 meters below, with two large acrylic spheres and seats mounted on revolving platforms for optimal viewing. Oh man, Q, you’ve outdone yourself with this one.
scenic.com.au/eclipse/helicopters-submarine; price on booking.